Question about KitchenAid Refrigerators

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How to setup/configure a bi-metal by-pass on a KitchendAid refrigerator?

I'm having a Refrigerator Kitchen Aid model KRFF507ESS for the past 2 years. Since I bought this application I'm having an issue with the refrigerator defrost. The freezer section works just fine but in the refrigerator section the coil always froze up, to the point their is not more air circulation and the refrigerator is warming up. During the winter, I need to unfreeze the Coil every 2nd or 3rd month, while in Summer, when the humidity is higher, I need to unfreeze the coil every 2nd or 3rd week. I called Kitchend Aid twice and they change many components, without any success. Always the same problem... I decided to run some Service Check based on their Tech Sheet. I checked the defrost Mode and changed it from Automatic every 8 to 96 hours to basic every 8 hours. I did not see too much difference. I've also run their Service Test #6: Defrost Heater/Bi-Metal Based on this test, the documentation says that if the bi-metal is opened, it will need to be bypassed for heater to operate. When checking the value on my fridge, it says this is open... This may be the source of my problems... As a newbie and do not know nothing about this and how create/setup this bypass, I'll need some guidance / help here. If you have any idea, it will be highly appreciate. Thank you in advance. Roger

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Why not contact KitchenAid again and explain that you have performed the service checks their technician(s) should have performed and the bi-metal (switch) is at fault. Perhaps another visit from a competent technician or that technician's manager will result in success.

Posted on Jun 30, 2019


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Sea Breeze

John Tripp

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SOURCE: evaporator coil freezing, replaced main control

It is possible you have a defective fan motor in the condenser area or evaporator area. Sometimes when they become defective they will run for a while and just warm up and stop while the compressor continues to run. I learned that one on four costly returns to the home. The cost was to me not the customer. Thanks, Sea Breeze

Posted on Aug 05, 2009

John Hall

  • 1218 Answers

SOURCE: What is function of bi-metallic thermostats in

Good day,
The bi-metal or also called a limiter or defrost thermostat is wired in series with the main heater.
When the timer switches the machine from the running mode to the defrost mode, it shuts off all cooling and turns the main heater on. This could be anywhere from 21 minutes to 35 minutes. The bimetal is a thermostat. It shuts the main heater off when the coil reaches approx. 50 degrees. Without it, the machine would get extremely hot, defrosting all the food, and in some cases even begin to melt plastic parts in the freezer compartment. It's also a safety device, in case the timer went into defrost and failed there. Without it, it would totally destroy the machine, even to the point of creating a possible fire hazard.

Posted on Jun 12, 2010

Testimonial: "Thanks for the info. When I took the freezer section apart I had to use a hair dryer to remove the insulation as it had chunks and sheets of ice attached and imbedded in the evaporator coil. All meat though especially in bottom of basket had defrosted and ruined. I turned timer to defrost and heater coil began heating up. Fridge and freezer not cooling as cold as used to. Looks like bimetal thermostat and heater working. Could it be bimetal thermostat not turning off soon enough. But why would evaporator core be freezing but ice container which is on front door of freezer is thawing ice and will have water in it from melting. "

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Thanks for using FixYa. Many dishwashers (but not all) use a BI-metal strip that heats up once power is applied to it. The BI-metal strip bends and allows the soap door spring to open up the dispenser. This bi-metal strip is not given full 120 volts power, the timer "shunts" the power through either the heating element ( most common ) or the motor and this gives the bi-metal strip lower than full power to work and open.

Most often the bi-metal strip has lost its ability to bend properly and needs to be replaced. Older Kitchen-aid dishwashers used a mechanical arm driven by the timer to open the dispenser = no electrical bi-metals. Newer (plastic liner) Kitchen-aid dishwashers use a wax motor to open the soap dispenser. The plunger inside the wax motor slowly moves and pushes the plunger and door open. And, if this wax motor doesn’t receive 120 volts, then it’ll not work.

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If either of them show an open circuit, it will need replaced. If both of these parts show ok, you will need to replace the defrost timer/board.
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